April 16th, 2013

CMP On the Mark Magazine Provides Important Safety Tips

On the Mark CMP Magazine junior shootersThe latest edition of the CMP’s On The Mark magazine contains a good article on firearms safety. While this story was written primarily for junior shooters, it offers good advice for shooters of all ages and skill levels. Here are some of the key recommendations:

1. Self-Discipline and Focus. Gun safety is not a matter of learning safety rules and then assuming you will always be safe with guns. Gun safety requires that you consciously practice safe muzzle control, check for open actions and keep your fingers outside of the trigger guard every time you handle a gun. That requires self-discipline and focus. You must discipline yourself to always pay attention to safety — for yourself and for those around you.

2. Everyone Is a Safety Officer. In an emergency when a safety hazard occurs or when someone in your presence does something unsafe with a gun, you can and must become an “Emergency Safety Officer.” If you see someone close the action on a gun or fail to open the action of a gun while handling it, it is necessary for you to step in and make sure the action is opened.

On the Mark CMP Magazine junior shooters3. MAT — Muzzle, Action, Trigger. An easy way to remember the Rules for Safe Gun Handling is to use the key word MAT. MAT stands for Muzzle-Action-Trigger. Whenever you handle a rifle always start by controlling the MUZZLE. Next think about the ACTION — when handling any rifle or firearm, the action must be open with a CBI (Clear Barrel Indicator), ECI (Empty Chamber Indicator) or OBI (Open Bolt Indicator) inserted. Finally remember “T” for TRIGGER. Keep your finger off of the trigger until after placing the gun in the shooting position and preparing to fire a shot. It is especially important to keep the finger outside of the trigger guard when loading the gun and placing it in the shooting position.

Other CMP Safety Instruction Resources:

  • Junior Shooter’s Guide to Air Rifle Safety, NLU # 741. This 20-page booklet is written for
    junior air rifle shooters, but it provides safety rules, procedures and guidelines that can be
    used by youth or adult shooters in any range firing situation.
  • CMP Rifle Safety Guide, NLU #744. This 32-page booklet is written for owners of CMP rifles. This guide includes safe gun handling rules and safety guidelines, explains how the rifle operates, range safety rules, how to deal with special problems, tips for accurate shooting, proper care of your rifle and CMP Programs for new rifle owners.
  • Rifle Safety & Marksmanship Training CD-ROM, Item # 772. This CMP produced CDROM is designed for use by coaches, instructors and youth who are teaching or learning target rifle shooting. It presents a complete basic rifle marksmanship course plus an impressive array of additional resources. Order through the CMP eStore.

How to Receive On The Mark
On The Mark is published quarterly by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. A typical issue of On The Mark includes 16-24 pages of new junior shooting program information as well as news about junior events, instructional tips and coaching information. One free On The Mark subscription is provided to each CMP-affiliated junior club, JROTC unit with marksmanship programs, and 4-H Shooting Sports Club. Individual subscriptions to On The Mark are available for $8.00 per year. To subscribe, download the OTM Order Form.